“It seemed to her now that she wanted many more things than the love of one human being - the sea,the sky. She turned again and looked at the distant blue which was so smooth and serene where the sky met the sea; yes,she could not possibly want only one human being.”—Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out (via fuckyeahvirginiawoolf)
Hot noon in the meadows. The buttercups Swelter and melt, and the lovers Pass by, pass by. They are black and flat as shadows. It is so beautiful to have no attachments! I am solitary as grass. What is it I miss? Shall I ever find it, whatever it is?
The swans are gone. Still the river Remembers how white they were. It strives after them with its lights. It finds their shapes in a cloud. What is that bird that cries With such sorrow in its voice? I am young as ever, it says. What is it I miss?
“Sometimes I go to bed scared
of not coming through, the night
full of the radiant falling into themselves,
fragments curving back,
a drop of sweat, a single pulse,
felt as they were moments ago.”—Julie Suk, from “The Night is Full of Us”
“And as we stray further from love
We multiply the words,
Words and sentences long and orderly.
Had we remained together
We could have become a silence.”—Yehuda Amichai, (trans. Assia Gutmann) from “Quick and Bitter” (via ahuntersheart)
“It is over and nobody knows you.
There is starlight drifting on the black water.
There are stones in the sea no one has seen.
There is a shore and people are waiting.
And nothing comes back.
Because it is over.
Because there is silence instead of a name.”—Mark Strand, from “Elegy for my Father”
“We were making love when the phone rang
saying my father was dead, and the sun
kept touching you, there, and there, where I’d been.”—Albert Goldbarth, from “One Continuous Substance” (via the-final-sentence)
I’m too alone in the world, yet not alone enough to make each hour holy. I’m too small in the world, yet not small enough to be simply in your presence, like a thing— just as it is.
I want to know my own will and to move with it. And I want, in the hushed moments when the nameless draws near, to be among the wise ones— or alone.
I want to mirror your immensity. I want never to be too weak or too old to bear the heavy, lurching image of you.
I want to unfold. Let no place in me hold itself closed, for where I am closed, I am false. I want to stay clear in your sight.
I would describe myself like a landscape I’ve studied at length, in detail; like a word I’m coming to understand; like a pitcher I pour from at mealtime; like my mother’s face; like a ship that carried me when the waters raged.
— from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Book of Hours, trans. from the German by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy
“I don’t know where I end and the world begins. My best guess? Skin. It’s the only actual boundary between the body and the world, between a body and any other body. Crush, at its core, is about rupture. The desire to touch, the gesture of touching, becomes dangerous, damaging, after the hand, withheld for so long, finally makes an attempt at contact. Simultaneously, and without pity, the natural world and its physical laws restrict the human form and its capacities. All of us are trapped in our skins and drowning in gravity. Physics is unforgiving. Nature is predatory. We do not walk through a passive landscape.”—Richard Siken, In conversation with poet Richard Siken, be prepared to bleed a little. (via leighway)
From the heart of an old box of letters I lift a small water-stained envelope. Inside, a note card as thin and brittle as a frozen leaf bears a message written fifty years ago by a woman who shares my name.
She delivers no greeting, no sorry to have been away so long. She leaves no record of visitors, rationed cigarettes, group art, or the barren iceberg of treatment.
I imagine her listening to the ping of the radiator on a snowy morning, seated in her nightgown and socks by an open window. A bell rings in the hallway but she doesn’t move toward her robe or her slippers or her brush.
I see myself sitting beside her, reaching toward her dull pencil to place my fingers over hers, hand on hand, gliding over the words, moving like two skaters on a lake tracing the solitary line— Please come get me.
We threw ourselves into the sea at Kamakura that night. She untied her sash, saying she had borrowed it from a friend at the cafe, and left it folded neatly on a rock. I removed my coat and put it in the same spot. We entered the water together.
She died. I was saved.
”—Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human (translated by Donald Keene) (via bookoflead)
“Death was an attempt to communicate; people feeling the impossibility of reaching the centre which, mystically, evaded them; closeness drew apart; rapture faded, one was alone. There was an embrace in death…Then there was the terror; the overwhelming incapacity, one’s parents giving it into one’s hands, this life, to be lived to the end, to be walked with serenely; there was in the depths of her heart an awful fear…Somehow it was her disaster—her disgrace. It was her punishment to see sink and disappear here a man, there a woman, in this profound darkness.”—Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“In the midst of all your memories there is one
Faded away beyond recovering;
Neither the yellow moon nor the white sun
Will ever see you drinking from that spring.”—Jorge Luis Borges, from “Limits,” trans. R. G. Barnes and Robert Mezey (via proustitute)
“Here. You are at the beginning of something. At the exact
beginning. Ok. This is awakening
number two in here, in this poem. Then there are
these: me: you: you there. I’m actually staring up at
you, you know, right here, right from the pool of this page.
Don’t worry where else I am, I am here. Don’t
worry if I’m still alive, you are.”—Jorie Graham, from “Dawn Day One (Dec 21 ‘03)” (via proustitute)